The Latest in the Campaign to Save Lewisham Hospital

Posted: March 22, 2013 by blackdaffodil in Cutswatch, NHS
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home_dont_keep_calm_get_angry_hospitalThere are a couple of updates on the campaign to save Lewisham A&E, and some dates for your calendar and emails for you to write if you haven’t already! First an excerpt from the email from Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander on the situation now and what they are doing to save the hospital (we encourage all Labour MPs to stand against all the cuts of course):

As many of you will know, at the end of January despite huge public opposition, the Government decided to proceed with the closure of the full A&E and full maternity department at Lewisham Hospital.

They claim they will retain a “smaller A&E” at Lewisham and a mid-wife led birthing unit. Be under no illusions – these changes will lead to a decimation of services at Lewisham.

Whilst the plans will take about 3 years to implement (and all services at Lewisham are set to remain until investment has taken place at other hospitals in order to deal with patients displaced from Lewisham), it is clear that ultimately, all “blue light” ambulances will be sent to other hospitals and up to 9 in 10 babies will have to be born elsewhere.

The sale of two thirds of the land and buildings at Lewisham Hospital is also set to proceed.

In Parliament, the three Lewisham MPs have been united in opposition to these plans, whilst Lewisham Council (under the leadership of Mayor Sir Steve Bullock) have launched a legal challenge.

The council are seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision in the High Court on the grounds that the Secretary of State didn’t have the power in law to take a decision about services at Lewisham Hospital, based upon the Trust Administration process that had taken place. They have yet to be given a court date but you can read more on their website.

The council has also launched a challenge fund to assist with covering the costs of the legal action. If you are able to make a donation (no matter how small), please click on the link below:

https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/socialcare/health/Pages/Save-Lewisham-Hospital-Legal-Challenge-Fund.aspx

All the money raised will be used to pay for the court case. In the event that the court awards costs in the Council’s favour, or if for any other reason your donation is not needed for the legal action, then the Council will donate your money to local charity, Children First Lewisham.

The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign will also be lobbying Parliament, next Tuesday 26 March. Below is the letter from the Chair of the Campaign with links.

 Dear Save Lewisham Hospital Supporter

I am writing to you to ask you to:

Join the Lobby of Parliament on Tuesday 26th March to say No to Privatisation Of the NHS and to Stop the Section 75 Regulations

Assemble at the Lobby Gate at 12 noon

Called by the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and supported by NHS campaigners all over the country, backed by Unite the Union.

See
http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/lobby-of-parliament-26-march-stop-nhs-privatisation/

Sign up on FaceBook and join the event https://www.facebook.com/events/571798492839107/

For the last month the Government have been trying to sneak through regulations (the fine details) to the Health and Social Care Act that will mean the privatisation of the NHS. Despite giving repeated assurances they would not do this the drive for profit is greater than their commitment to promises made to us, the electorate. They were caught red-handed and after an amazing groundswell of opposition from all over the country the Government were pushed into re-writing the regulations. A small victory for us, but they are now back with the same wrecking ideas spruced up, cowardly repackaged and due to come in to force on April 1st.

We are calling on all who support the NHS to join the Lobby of Parliament (26 March) to urge the Lords and Commons to reject the regulations and to defend the NHS as a public service.

We also ask you also URGENTLY to write to a Lord. You can help by writing to as many peers in the House of Lords as possible.

The Lords will have a crucial role in scrutinizing and debating the regulations over the next few weeks. We think you should write to peers because any of us are free to do so. We can only write to our own MPs which limits the mass effect we can have. But you can contact friends and family in other areas and ask them to write to their MP too.

We have email lists of key Lords and sample emails/letters See website www.savelewishamhospital.com to find lists of Lords you can click on to urgently write a letter to a Lord.

Louise Irvine

Chair of Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign

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